Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

daybeers wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 8:59 pm I realize it's a PANYNJ service, but I think the PATH is set to get OMNY as well, which is also run by the same authority. It's just silly that if you fly into JFK, you can't use OMNY there, but can in the rest of the system.
DB: Not totally true-NYCT Bus routes serving JFK accept OMNY - such as the 24/7 operated Q10 to Kew Gardens.
The Q10 route runs to and from JFK Airport Terminal 5.
The Q10 Bus-Subway connections are at:
Lefferts Blvd/Liberty Avenue - A Train - Ozone Park
Lefferts Blvd/Jamaica Avenue - J Train - Richmond Hill
Union Turnpike/Queens Blvd-Kew Gardens - E and F Trains (route terminal)
The Q10 route passes near the LIRR Kew Gardens Station offering another rail connection.

The Q10 offers a cheaper standard transit fare option for light travelers to/from JFK compared to the Airtrain.
  by Head-end View
That bus must be a lot slower than the Airtrain ride though. :(
H-E: You can download the Q10 Bus schedule here: https://new.mta.info/schedules/bus/queens
The Q10 is a MTA Bus (former Green Lines Bus) route offering Q10-LTD (limited stop) service at busy travel periods.
Even overnights the Q10 runs on average every 20 minutes or three buses per hour between KG and JFK.

The J Train stop in Richmond Hill is at 121st and Jamaica Avenue - two short blocks east of Lefferts Blvd.
This does not connect directly with the Q10 and is not listed in the timetable. The A, E and F Trains are as
previously mentioned do directly connect with the Q10.

The Q10 is one of just two Queens bus routes that directly serve the terminals of JFK Airport.
The other is the Q3 to Jamaica (Farmers Boulevard) via Locust Manor, St. Albans and Hollis to the 165th Street
Bus Terminal.

I posted the information about the Q10 because this is a bus route that I have used myself.

I remember that KG had gotten an interesting nickname: "Crew Gardens" from the neighborhood being popular
with airline crews due to its relative proximity to JFK. The Q10 Bus (with its frequent service) is a prime reason.
  by ExCon90
"Crew Gardens" is good -- I hadn't heard that one before.
  by NaugyRR
So, I'm a bit confused here...

I signed myself and my girlfriend up for OMNY accounts last night. They way I read it, was that OMNY wasn't a physical card, a la the WMATA Smartrip Cards, but was going to implement people's tap-style credit cards.

Is there going to be a physical OMNY card, or do we use the tap-to-pay function with our newer credit cards?
  by daybeers
Yes, there will be a physical card coming as well as an OMNY app, hopefully this year. For now, contactless payment cards (the ones with the three white waves printed on it) or using a smartphone payment system works. It allows the same transfer and passback rules as the MetroCards, except for now it's only pay-as-you-go $2.75 per ride. Passes are coming at a later time. One free transfer from subway-bus, bus-bus, or bus-subway within two hours of the first tap. Important to point out that if you are going to use one contactless card or phone for more than one person, the payment method first needs to be recorded in the system before allowing passbacks. (noted here in the OMNY FAQs under "Can I still pay for multiple riders with OMNY?" There is a time limit; I believe it's 17 minutes. I was in NYC yesterday and confirmed this issue. I took one bus at 11:54 AM and it would only allow one payment. I took another at 12:13 PM and it allowed passbacks since it was 19 minutes between taps. I don't really understand why this is the case, because it's a huge issue for visitors. Other than that issue, I love the OMNY system. So much easier than lining up at a farecard machine to load money and then having to swipe it five times for it to work.

It was still a good idea to sign up for an OMNY account, and good also to add your payment card to the online account so you can keep track of your trips and confirm the transfers were charged correctly.

The company behind the system, Cubic, also developed London's Oyster Card system. Eventually the commuter railroads (LIRR & Metro-North) will be on the ONMY system and the MTA eTix app will be no longer, but that's coming later. Unclear what the rest of the CT railroads will do and how they will interline, say if you're going from Berlin, CT to Bridgeport, first on the Hartford Line followed by the New Haven Line.
  by NaugyRR
daybeers wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:28 pm Other than that issue, I love the OMNY system. So much easier than lining up at a farecard machine to load money and then having to swipe it five times for it to work.
That was a major selling point for me. We go to the city infrequently, so it's a pain to stop by the machine and check our balance (and exchange cards if one's expired) each time we go. And when they decide not to swipe, they really decide not to swipe, haha.


  by west point
Airline crews have used the Q=10 since the 1960s. Along with the Q-33 to LGA. Those 2 bus routes + using the E train to PATH bus terminal to get to Newark airport.( 107 bus I believe ? ).
  by Allan
The stand alone OMNY card is now being sold at various retail stores, but you have to find them.

Newspaper articles in the past few weeks had said that CVS & Duane Reade would have them (I imagine Walgreens and Rite Aid too). As of today 10/20/21 none of these chains have the card (and I check a number of them). As to when they might start carrying the card is anyone's guess. They have large gift/shopping card displays in their stores and maybe they have to figure out what cards to move to make room for OMNY. Maybe they don't like the small commission they would get for selling it so they are taking their time.

So far the only place that might have it is 7/11. I found the card in a 7/11 on E23rd St off Park Avenue South (107 E 23 St off the NE Corner of 23rd). If you go to that store when you enter stay slightly to the right, after about 6 feet the Gift/Shopping Card display boards will be on your left.

I have checked a few other 7/11 stores (including one near me in the Bronx), only one had the gift card display with space reserved for the OMNY card, the others did not.

The cost of the card is $5.00 and you also must load at least $1.00 on it. I had them load $5.50 on it and I will keep it as a back up card in case my MetroCard doesn't want to work. Keep in mind that at the present time the only way to add money is to either find a store that sells the card or register the card online and then add money from debit/credit card.
  by Allan
STrRedWolf wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 3:48 pm Don't they have card vending machines, where you slip in a $10 or a $20 and out pops a card pre-loaded? WMATA has that.
That hasn't happened yet. New machines are expected to be installed in stations starting sometime next year.

What purchase options from these machines have yet to be made known.

They'd better get a move on if they intend to end the MetroCard in 2023.
Last edited by Allan on Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by Allan
The OMNY card has a 7 year life. The card I purchased expires July 2028. The $5 purchase fee 'went away' the second the purchase transaction was completed (in other words the cost of the card is not credited toward the amount placed on the card). At the end of 7 years, you then have 2 years to transfer any balance to a new OMNY card.

Any unlimited passes (7 day, 30 day) are not yet available on OMNY. Also a Reduced Fare version is also not yet available.

I don't know how much it costs the MTA to make the OMNY card. I am sure they make some money but it can't be that much.


P.S. - I did register my OMNY card. I'll log in every once in a while to keep tabs on the small amount I put on it (as I am holding it as backup for now in case my MetroCard goes bad).


PATH's SmartLink cards are the same way in that you pay $5 for the card and that is it. You have to add trips in order to use the card. On PATH you get a discount if you put 10, 20 or 40 trips on the SmartLink card ($2.60 vs the $2.75 fare). In using the SmartLink card the turnstile deducts a trip each time the card is used not a cash value). You can also add an unlimited pass to SmartLink.
Allan: Thanks for the information about the OMNY card.

First-Does the Pay-Per-Ride OMNY Card offer one transfer within two hours or reasonable thereabouts?
(for those unaware on P-P-R Metrocards the transfer is good for 2 hours 16 minutes elapsed time)

The $5 initial charge may actually deter some riders unless that money can be credited towards transportation.

The 2 year time period to transfer a card balance onto a new card after expiration is double what Metrocards
offer - which is one year after their expiration date to transfer a P-P-R balance onto a new card at any MVM or
at a station booth - and there is no $1 new Metrocard fee...

Is there any news about carriers that use Metrocard: NICE Bus in Nassau County and Bee-Line in Westchester
converting their fare equipment to accept OMNY?

I think that a conversion to OMNY is going to take far longer than 2023...Three to five years for full deployment.
The key is offering 7 and 30 day unlimited cards for OMNY to be more adopted by riders...MACTRAXX
  by Allan
The 2 hour (and 18 minute) time frame for a subway-bus transfer applies to the OMNY card (as in the current MetroCard). Also like the PPR MetroCard up to 4 fares can be paid sequentially if there are 4 people to be paid for - the 17 minute time limit on any other payments would go into effect after the 4th fare is paid).

When it comes right down to it, at some point people will have no choice but to pay the $5 for the card because the MetroCard would not be available. I do like the idea of crediting the purchase price toward the fare but the MTA will most likely have to be forced to do it. I would imagine though that the Reduced fare OMNY will not have the $5 fee (the Reduced fare MetroCard did not have the $1 fee).

The MetroCard does have a 2 year trade in. The first year at a MetroCard Vending Machine (and until Covid - a booth as well), the 2nd year you have to mail the MetroCard to the MTA.

I would expect that NICE Bus in Nassau County and Bee-Line in Westchester will be a part of the current conversion (if that isn't happening now). Nothing is mentioned on the OMNY website on that yet although it is mentioned in a brochure I got a year or so ago that they are looking for a regional acceptance. I sent that question to the OMNY area of the MTA, we'll see what they answer.

I don't think the Unlimited passes are the key to making OMNY adopted by riders. Generally speaking, the bulk of subway/bus riders are PPR as the cost of unlimiteds may be out of reach for many.
You have to use the unlimited a certain number of times within the stated time period (7 day/30 day) just to break even:

7 day unlimited is $33 - that is 12 times in 7 days (12x $2.75= $33.00, after that the rides on that card don't cost anything,
30 day unlimited is $127, you have to use it 46 times in the 30 days ($126.50) before the subsequent rides on that card don't cost.

I always felt that there is a drawback to the unlimiteds - if you get sick and/or can't use the card, you lose the time.

As for 3-5 year for full deployment with the MTA you never know, besides the use of RFID credit/debit cards and smart phones for OMNY has already been in place for a while. They did start testing a few years back.
  by GirlOnTheTrain
MACTRAXX wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 10:41 am I think that a conversion to OMNY is going to take far longer than 2023...Three to five years for full deployment.
The key is offering 7 and 30 day unlimited cards for OMNY to be more adopted by riders...MACTRAXX
OMNY has been in use since late 2019. The pandemic allowed TA to ram it down people's throats even faster - plus the used to buy an unlimited crowd that does WFH multiple days a week can transition to contactless pay-per-ride pretty easily. It's been targeted as 2023 for the Metrocard phase out for a solid three years now. I would be willing to bet money on a mid to late 2023 phase out. The antiquated AFC system that the metrocard system runs off of is over thirty years old. It's costing them more money to keep the metrocard hanging around than fast tracking OMNY.

Yes, a lot of people have stated they would use it if unlimiteds were offered, and that is coming. Same with reduced fares. Eventually Bee Line, NICE, and Hudson Rail Link are going to have to get with the program. Air Train and PATH are supposed to be implementing it too. The physical card is a step in the right direction for the large populations of riders who are underbanked, prefer to use cash and don't want to tap their actual credit card or mobile device. When push comes to shove, the riding public is going to have to :poop: or get off the pot with the fare media and either use a credit/debit card that is contactless, a mobile device, or a physical OMNY card. Once the new MVMs are rolled out (which was supposed to be this past summer originally) physical OMNY card adoption will spike.
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